12 May, 2010

Island Girl Still Moving Slowly Towards The Gulf

On her 29th day of migration, Island Girl moved further north through the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, flying another 85 km (53 miles) for the day. For some reason, she is taking her own sweet time passing through this area, a behavior we have seen among the migrant peregrines several times before. So this type of activity is not unusual.

She remains in the state of Oaxaca but is still heading towards the Gulf, likely to be her next destination. She has travelled 7,549 km (4,691 miles) thus far on her northbound migration.

Last night, she slept at an elevation of 673' on a low hill 3.2 km (2 miles) SW of the town of Matias Romero and just off the main road from the Gulf to the Pacific. Looks like she selected a tree on the edge of an old powerline cut. GE also shows what looks like a small pond near her roost.

She should kick into high gear soon. Remember that she is a high Arctic nester (Baffin Island) and there is no immediate rush to get back to her nest prior to the snows melting. The goal (not consciously of course) is to arrive neither too early nor too late in the breeding season. And the farther north she goes, the later spring arrives.

As an example, here in Washington State at latitude 48 degrees north, we have young peregrines in the eyries (nests) that are currently two weeks old. In fact, the eggs were laid here in late March, prior to Island Girl departing from Chile.

So the higher you go in latitude, the later the breeding season for peregrines. Therefore, Island Girl is in no huge rush as yet.....

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